Friday, July 25, 2008

Simple Pleasures

If I found out I were to be executed tomorrow (it could happen!), my request for my final meal would, most likely, be white pizza from the seedy little joint around the corner and a bottle of red wine. Either that or beer and wings. Maybe I'd cheat and try to get both -- white pizza with wings on the side, wine with a beer chaser.

The pizza place regularly gets about 1.5 stars on, but I love it -- it's quick, two blocks from me, and they make a good white pizza. Granted, my sole requirement for white pizza is "it has to go well with wine," and everything goes well with wine. But they satisfy that requirement. The guys running the place are stoned out of their collective gourd, which I appreciate -- like I've said, I occasionally enjoy it when people play to stereotypes. Granted, that occasionally means that they translate "extra garlic" as "give him a tub of garlic-butter dipping sauce," but I can live with that. (It's good for crust-dipping, anyway, though probably not so good on the heart.)

I was kind of bored this evening, debating whether to go out -- now, with a pizza and a bottle of wine (Little Penguin Shiraz, $7.99 at Publix -- it gets the desirable "100" score on the PPA wine ratings table), I'm one happy man.

* * *

#32 -- "The Burglar in the Library" by Lawrence Block

This is officially ludicrous, and ends now. Just pray I don't pick up one of Donald Westlake's "Dortmunder" novels. One more thing to blame on Lawrence Block: I now feel like I should take up scotch-drinking.

* * *

Brushback had a Samiam-referencing post title the other day, making me think about that band for the first time in years -- probably nearly as long as it had been since I thought about Pressure Release. Samiam were (are? they seem to be one of those bands that I'd see on a present-day flyer, and feel a moment of surprise that they were still around)(were/are: their Wikipedia page is a bit uncertain, and they still have an official webpage up, but it's slow as shit)(ok, are) one of those bands that lots of people got into, but I never really saw the appeal -- I'd buy their albums, be unimpressed, then buy the next one hoping to finally catch on.

But they had (in my books) one brief shining moment. They had a song on New Red Archives' "Hardcore Breakout" compliation, and "New Queen" still sends me just as much as it did when I first heard it, half my life ago. That song provided the soundtrack to a roadtrip across the American West, and it seemed to contain all the hope and promise (in its sound, at least -- the lyrics are kind of bitter) that life seemed to be filled with in those days. There was another song on that comp which had the same impact, Jawbreaker's "Rich," which remains one of my favorite Jawbreaker songs -- but since I loved Jawbreaker, I'm writing about Samiam rather than them today.

It's not an uncommon thing -- the phrase "one-hit wonder" is popular for a reason. But it strikes me as a bit odd that a band that left me cold 99% of the time could, that one time, hit it right with a song that I've now loved for about half my life.

Sometime in the mid-1990s, probably about the time that their major label debut came out, I took a date to see them in downtown Tucson. It was a major bummer all around -- I ran into an old friend who was kind of horribly strung out, and then Samiam's singer was wearing overalls, a fashion trend that I'd prefer to pretend never happened. They weren't very memorable, and I didn't see the girl too many times after that.


Brushback said...

Woah, you caught the Samiam reference. I was wondering if someone was gonna.

gsdgsd13 said...

I wasn't certain and had to double-check ... but yeah, that was probably one of about three Samiam songs I would have caught, mostly because the lyrics are pretty memorable.

Nanuk of the North said...

What's a white pizza? Is that just cheese and nothing else? I suspect it is. But we don't call it white pizza up here. We call it, well, a cheese pizza.

gsdgsd13 said...

Basically, yeah. It has to be white cheeses, natch - mozzarella, ricotta. And olive oil. And, of course, garlic.